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Monday, November 25, 2013 – A Record High, Barely

A Record High, Barely by Sinclair Noe DOW + 7 = 16,072SPX – 2 = 1802NAS + 2 = 399410 YR YLD – .01 = 2.73%OIL – .75 = 94.09GOLD + 7.90 = 1252.60SILV + .38 = 20.31 The Dow and the S&P 500 indices have posted 7 weeks of gains. Today was flat, with the Dow up a few points and the S&P down a little. We’ll have a holiday shortened week, with the market closed on Thursday (something retailers should consider). Over the weekend, the big news was a nuclear agreement, of sorts between the US and Iran. The basic idea of the agreement is that we would lift some sanctions against Iran and they would not expand their nuclear program. The deal frees up some Iranian oil revenue that had been frozen in foreign banks. It’s unlikely Iran will add much in oil exports in the six months covered by the agreement. Iran has been exporting oil to China, India, South Korea, and Japan; those countries were granted waivers on sanctions because they really wanted the oil. The main benefit of the weekend’s deal with Iran may be the psychological impact on the market, which has long been propped up by fears of a supply disruption resulting from the standoff between Iran and the United States and its allies. Also, Iran may benefit from access to investment in oil infrastructure and equipment; but again, this is a 6 month deal for now. Many Middle Eastern countries have …

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Monday, May 20, 2013 – Daily Scandals and Distractions

Daily Scandals and Distractions by Sinclair Noe DOW – 19 = 15,335SPX – 1 = 1666NAS – 2 = 349610 YR YLD + .02 = 1.96%OIL + .58 = 96.87GOLD + 33.90 = 1395.10SILV + .66 = 23.02 I suppose we should start with the scandal du jour, since this is where most of the news has been fixated recently. I’ll try to focus on how it affects the economy and the markets, but it’s hard to ignore the bluster. One quote I heard over the weekend was “add Watergate and Iran Contra together and multiply by ten” to calculate the tyrannical evil of the Obama scandals. Actually, the current scandals are not even close (I’m old enough to remember the enemies list and plumbers). I don’t think the scandals are inconsequential but I think some historical perspective might help. The rhetoric without perspective might actually backfire. But what we concern ourselves with here is the economic and financial impact. And it’s likely there will be limited economic impact. We’ve seen worse, and the markets survived and sometimes even prospered. Remember Iran Contra? It happened to coincide with one of the greatest bull runs the market has ever seen. And remember the Lewinsky scandal? It coincided with a market that was described as irrationally exuberant; this is often attributed to gridlock in Washington, or some sort of moderation. Actually, the old idea of gridlock being good for markets, doesn’t really hold water. When one party controls both the White House …

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